Serving the Community since 1903

Minutes of Littleton Water and Light Meetings

The Board meets on the first and third Monday of each month. Meetings begin at 1:00 p.m. and are held in the department conference room at 65 Lafayette Ave, Littleton. Board meetings are open to the public and time is allotted for public comments at each meeting.

Minutes for 2013

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Regular Meeting May 6, 2013

The regularly scheduled Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting began at 1:00 p.m. on Monday May 6, 2013 in the Littleton Water and Light Department (LWL) conference room. Present were Commissioner Eddy Moore, Commissioner Perry Goodell, Commissioner Ralph Ross, Financial Services Director Cheryl Wilkins and Superintendent Thomas Considine.

MINUTES REVIEW:

The minutes of April 15, 2013 regularly scheduled Commissioners meeting were reviewed. Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

APPOINTMENTS:

Sister Carmen of the Daughters of Charity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus located at the top of Grove Street in Littleton asked the BOC if they would be interested in purchasing a pastel painting that she recently completed. The painting (hand painted original) that is already matted and framed is of the department’s old power house (meter shop) as viewed from the opposite side of the river. A $400 donation is requested/ suggested as the purchase price.

Superintendent Considine stated that the department has been looking for something to hang on the center support column facing the lobby that would add character to the office and enhance the work space. The painting would also serve as an historical artifact (as there are no immediate plans to maintain the building represented in the painting) as it is very similar to the system water map currently hanging in the conference room.

Sister Carmen excused herself from the meeting at 1:15 pm after being thanked by the BOC for bringing the painting into the meeting so that they could see the finished product.

Commissioner Ross made a motion to purchase the painting for the suggested price of $400 which was seconded by Commissioner Goodell.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

FINANCIAL DIRECTORS REPORT:

Mrs. Wilkins updated the BOC with regard to a recent correspondence received from NH Public Risk Management Exchange (PRIMEX) the department’s Worker’ Compensation program administrators. Due to a State of NH mandate PRIMEX was directed to return funds to clients that they had collected that exceeded their allowable reserve limit. The total credit due is about $34,600 which is being applied against the Department’s 2012 and 2013 worker compensation premiums.

Commissioner Ross asked what coverage’s the department had with the Local Government Center (LGC) as they were also subject to the State of NH investigation process.

Mrs. Wilkins stated that the department has its property liability and fleet insurance coverage provided by the LGC Property-Liability Trust. A credit was received that was similar to that received through the PRIMEX settlement though much less and the amount was applied towards the department’s 2013 premium. LGC clients that had bundled services (health, risk management and property liability) received larger credits proportional to what they paid into the trust for those service rendered.


SUPERINTENDENT/ MANAGERS REPORT:

1. The BOC reviewed a picture slideshow of the new catwalk recently installed at the Gale River filtrating building above the pipe gallery. The catwalk provides a solid work platform for maintenance activities involved with cleaning the slow sand filters.

2. The department is meeting with town officials and New England Trees Services at the towns request to provide an estimate to remove danger trees in the vicinity of Centennial Park off Mill Street adjacent to the river.

3. The new Disinfection By-Products (DBPs) Rule Stage 2 (Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic Acids) will begin in the 4th quarter of this year (samples are scheduled for November). The current sampling site under the DBPs Stage 1 will no longer be used after the 3rd quarter samples are taken. The new sample sites selected by the NHDES are 65 Lafayette Ave and 1309 Mt. Eustis Road which is representative of the resident time (water age) for the center and outer limits of the water distribution system.

It is expected that implementing Stage 2 will cost the department and additional $400 per quarter in laboratory process expenses plus LWL labor to collect the additional samples. (Note: DBP are by-products resulting from the drinking water disinfection process).

4. ISONE (FERC power market managers in New England) recently contacted market participants and advised them that they may be charged taxes on energy purchased out of state that cross through other state lines during the transmission process that have a sales tax. For example, as the New England wholesale power hub is in western Massachusetts (notionally) the Department may have to pay Massachusetts sales taxes on the energy provided from the Mass Hub to our point of attachment at Pattenville. As the department is connected directly to Commerford Station (physical connection) it is unknown at this time if the sale tax will be applicable to the department.

GENERAL BUSINESS:

1. Superintendent Considine stated that there has been much discussion with regard to what system loads National Grid will submit for settlement with the ISONE power pool. Following a meeting between the Department, National Grid and La Cappra Associates it was decided that National Grid would submit a more accurate load that would be more reflective of the actual system. The metered settlement load would be a combination of meter loads and interpretive loads deducted from the master meter at Commerford Station. The adjusted load will result in a credit due LWL of about $5,000 for March and it is expected that the department will get similar dollar refunds each month until the metering point at Pattenville is placed back in service.

2. The 2013 year end audit was reviewed by the BOC. Commissioner Ross requested that the department look at the remaining debt service on the Slow Sand filtration facility and check if it would be economically feasible for the department to pay off the remaining eight (8) years left on the State Revolving Fund loan.

Commissioner Goodell made a motion to accept the Independent auditors report and the Management Discussion and Analysis (not audited) for year ended 2013 as presented, seconded by Commissioner Ross.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

3. Superintendent Considine discussed his/ the department’s involvement to date with the Mill & Saranac Street Revitalization Committee. At the invitation of the Committee Chairperson he along with Brian Ward briefed the committee as to what has happened historically in that immediate area. The discussion focus on expanding on what was accomplished during the River Walk conceptual design phase as much of this work has already been done and to potentially expand the project scope to include Main Street to Industrial Park Road along Riverside Drive.

The BOC encouraged the collaborative discussions to continue and to provide the committee with assistance as needed to help them accomplish their vision as economically as possible.

4. Following an extensive discernment process that began late in 2012 that include discussion with at least three (3) potential software vendors, demonstrations and many web conferences National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) software solutions is recommended as the software solution that appears most suited for the department’s operational needs now and into the future.

In addition to the utility billing and the accounting and business solutions core modules the NISC E-solutions module is also recommended. E-solutions contains three (3) separate modules that link on-line users with online payment gateways either threw the web or over the telephone. The NISC software solutions recommended provides what appears to be a functional user-friendly interface that is capable of processing multiple electronic digital devices and designed specifically for electrical system operations. Additional functional specific modules in addition to what the department is recommending are also available through NISC to enhance system capabilities to accommodate a system/ customers need.

The preliminary estimate for implementation of the NISC IVUE software is about $122,000 though this may change during the final needs assessment process prior to final implementation. Another $18,000 may be required for additional hardware modifications to the departments existing server to fully realize the functionality of the NISC solutions. Implementation is expected to take up to twelve (12) months and could start as early as June/July 2013.

Commissioner Goodell asked if the processes currently completed by LWL office staff would change with the implementation of the new software.

Superintendent Considine stated that generally the department would be conducting business as usual though the processes would be streamlined and the conversion process should be seamless to our customers.

Following some general discussion Commissioner Goodell made a motion to move forward with the NISC software solutions implementation, seconded by Commissioner Ross.

Motion was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.


CUSTOMER & PUBLIC CONCERNS:

The department received a certified letter from a concerned citizen stating that “under no circumstance will they allow an active monitoring device (Smart Meter) on their property”. The customer quoted NH RSA 374.62 and senate bill 266 “which prohibits electric utilities from installing and maintaining smart meter gateway devices without residential or business property owners consent”.

Superintendent Considine stated that the department does not possess an electric or water meter device that utilizes “Smart Meter” technology. By definition a smart meter utilizes an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) that actively monitors in real-time or near real-time, sensors (employs wireless internet protocols) that records power consumption, power quality, time of use and demand characteristics that both the utility and customer can access through a smart meter portal.

LWL uses an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system that does not possess active metering technology or wireless internet protocols. AMR meters are not capable of monitoring real or near real time sensory data and their functionality are limited to sending total consumption data not time of use. Several phone calls have been made to this customer in an attempt to discuss this matter with them without success. A pending AMR meter is planned at this location do to accessibility concerns.

ADJOURNMENT:

Commissioner Ross made a motion to adjourn the meeting, seconded by
Commissioner Goodell.

The vote was in favor of the motion 3-0-0.

Meeting adjourned at 2:45 p.m.

The regularly scheduled Commissioner’s meeting is held twice monthly on the first and third Monday, at 1:00 p.m., in the Department’s conference room.


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